Ozaukee Treasures Network

OTN/Treasures of Oz and OTN partner, GrassWorks have much to celebrate!


Wisconsin Rural Partners - Press Release April 6, 2-15

Five exemplary projects selected for Wisconsin Top Rural Development Initiative honors

HOLLANDALE - Wisconsin Rural Partners, Inc., a statewide non-profit corporation, will award the Top Rural Development Initiatives for 2015 at a ceremony at the Heidel House Resort and Spa in Green Lake Wisconsin on Thursday, April 23 at 1:30 PM. The awards will be presented by Wisconsin Rural Partners president Don Sidlowski and awards committee chairperson Coreen Fallat.

"Rural Partners received 29 nominations this year for these prestigious awards, and the competition was astounding," said Rural Partners Executive Director Rick Rolfsmeyer. "The five initiatives selected by the judges are truly the cream of the crop, exemplifying the best of all the great things rural Wisconsin has to offer."

The five efforts receiving Top Rural Development Initiative awards are:

Treasures of Oz and the Ozaukee County Treasures Network - These two organizations work in harmony to increase the capacity of member organizations in Ozaukee County to provide educational opportunities with an environmental focus. Treasures of Oz has over 100 active volunteers; the Ozaukee Treasures Network represents over 75 organizations, including federal, state, county and local agencies. Several educational workshops and events are conducted annually, including the Eco-Tour, which logs over 1,200 site visits annually to the well-known one-day event.

GrassWorks Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship Program – The Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship is the first accredited Apprenticeship for farming in the nation. The program is dedicated to providing a guided pathway to independent dairy farm ownership, developing grazing careers, and strengthening the economic and environmental well-being of rural communities and the dairy industry. The Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship spun-off from the organization GrassWorks to become an independent nonprofit organization.

The other 3 are:

Baraboo Big Top Parade and Circus Celebration

Wisconsin Rural Collaborative for Rural Graduate Medical Education

Wormfarm Institute and Fermentation Fest

Wisconsin Rural Partners is a statewide non-profit organization that develops rural networks and leaders, and provides a voice for rural Wisconsin. WRP is the federally-recognized State Rural Development Council for Wisconsin.

This is the fifteenth year that Wisconsin Rural Partners has recognized Wisconsin's Top Rural Development Initiatives. The program is designed to identify, highlight, and share innovative models, practices and programs that have a positive impact on rural Wisconsin communities. Wisconsin Rural Partners created the program to provide a mechanism for rural communities to learn from each other.

For more information on the Wisconsin Rural Summit visit http://wirural.org/summit2015.